Division Avenue Bus Rapid Transit Project

Division Avenue
Bus Rapid Transit
August 2012
Project Background
• 2003 – Great Transit Grand Tomorrows (GT2) study initiated
– Purpose: Identify potential needs for future transit investment
– Process: task force of community leaders and stakeholders examined
needs of the area’s population, considered multiple transit modes,
corridors, and alignments to develop a wide range of options
– Funding sources: Federal Transportation Administration (FTA),
Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), Urban Cooperation
Board, Wege Foundation
• 2003-2007 – Alternatives Analysis
– Priority recommendation: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on Division Avenue
• 2007 – Locally Preferred Alternative
– Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) was selected and approved
Analysis Criteria
Evaluation of future transit needs was based on:
Population growth and employment areas
– Population growth in southern Kent County; Michigan Street in downtown Grand Rapids:
largest employment center in West Michigan
Location of major activity centers
Congestion and mobility
– Commuting alternative to US-131
Economic development potential
– Multiple locations for redevelopment and revitalization along Division Avenue
Travel patterns and existing transit use
– Route 1 (Division) ridership = 3,283 rides/weekday
– Opportunities for future connectivity on east/west thoroughfares
Location or potential of transit supportive land use
Cost effectiveness
– Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is approximately 1/3 of the cost of equivalent Light Rail (LRT)
Land use benefits
Project Timeline
• Each step in this process
required full federal
approval from the FTA
(Federal Transportation
Administration) and was
subject to financial, logistical,
and regulatory standards
for viability.
• In addition, Rapid staff has
worked with staff at the federal
level that has spanned two
presidential administrations.
What is Bus Rapid Transit?
• From the National Bus Rapid Transit Institute
“BRT is an innovative, high capacity, lower cost public transit solution that can significantly improve
urban mobility. This permanent, integrated system uses buses or specialized vehicles on roadways or
dedicated lanes to quickly and efficiently transport passengers to their destinations, while offering
the flexibility to meet transit demand. BRT systems can easily be customized to community needs
and incorporate state-of-the-art, low-cost technologies that result in more passengers and less
congestion. ”
• BRT in West Michigan:
• Shared (non-rush hour) and dedicated (rush hour) lanes for bus use on
Division Avenue (no exclusive or separated lanes)
• Several operational features to decrease travel times
Benefits of Bus Rapid Transit
• Travel Benefits:
Faster commute (fewer stops, quick boarding, signal priority)
Improved regional mobility and community cohesiveness
Cost effectiveness
• Community Benefits:
Increases access to employment; construction and transit job creation
Improves air quality, reduces congestion
Stimulates economic development: transit oriented development, efficient
land use
Cost effectiveness, potential for high return on investment
Streetscape improvements
Utility upgrades
Police and Fire access to Traffic Signal Priority (TSP) and safety surveillance
Project Elements
• 9.6 Miles from downtown Grand Rapids to Division and 60th St.
• 18 stations (33 independent platforms)
• Pre-pay fare vending and level boarding
• Real-time arrival information
• 10-minute peak frequency and 20-30 minute off-peak frequency
• Hours of service from 5:30 AM – 12:30 AM on weekdays
• Dedicated lanes during weekday peak hours
• Traffic Signal Priority (TSP) at intersections
• Unique branding of stations and vehicles
• 10 hybrid-electric vehicles
Project Budget
Capital Budget:
Federal Transit Administration:
Michigan Department of Transportation:
Total project budget:
• Operating Budget* (estimated cost):
Local property tax millage
*Operational funds for the Bus Rapid Transit project will come from the public transportation millage
approved in May 2011. Of the total approved millage increase, operational costs of the BRT represent
approximately 32% (shown in the following chart). Compared to the overall operating budget for The Rapid
($35,639,300 in 2010), the operating costs of the BRT represent approximately 3.5%.
Operational Funding
As a percentage of the May 2011 Public Transportation Millage
Route 50
$162,254 , 4%
Saturday Evening
$63,113 , 2%
Weekday Evening
Base Frequency
Peak Hour
Project Alignment
•Directly connects downtown
Grand Rapids and South
Division to major employment
areas and activity centers
•Total travel time from
Division and 60th street to
Michigan Street will be less
than a half-hour
•This is approximately 40%
faster than current service on
Station Elements
• Platforms are 60’ long
• Shelters are either 48’ or 36’ depending on available space
• Platforms are raised 14-15” for quick and level boarding
• Lighting
• Snow melt system
• Emergency phone
• Close circuit television
• Real-time bus arrival signs
• Fare vending machines
• Bike racks and benches
Station Design – Shelter and Platform
Station Design – Real Time, Fare Vending, and
Bike Racks
Vehicles – 40’ Hybrid Electric
Landscape/Streetscape – Division & 28th
Landscape/Streetscape – Division & 36th
Landscape/Streetscape – Division & 44th
Landscape/Streetscape – Division & 54th
Landscape/Streetscape – Division & 60th
Project Schedule and Next Steps
• October/November, 2012 – Project Construction Grant Agreement
• November/December, 2012 – Final Design
• April, 2013 – Construction Begins
• August, 2014 – Revenue Operations
Next Steps
• Continued public outreach and preconstruction activities
• Open channels for feedback, questions, and concerns at:
• 616-456-7514
• www.ridetherapid.org
• www.facebook.com/therapid
• @TheRapid on twitter

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